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Resident Complains West Side Park Is In Disrepair

Dorothy Tucker Dorothy Tucker
Dorothy Tucker has served as a reporter for CBS 2 Chicago since 1984....
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(CBS) – It’s spring break. The weather’s warming up — perfect time for Chicago kids to play in parks.

But one CBS 2 viewer has concerns about safety.

Here’s one example of why: facilities falling apart, like this locker room. Other rooms are overrun by termites.

CBS 2’s Dorothy Tucker reports.

“To me, it’s an accident waiting to happen,” says Nicole Ellison.

And she’s tired of waiting for someone to fix the crumbling stairs outside the field house at Altgeld Park.

Inside, she’s taken photos of peeling paint, broken lockers and an uneven gym floor where the wood is rotten and infested with termites.

“It needs to be exterminated,” Ellison says.

The kids see it, too.

Ellison says the conditions have existed for at least years. She says she’s been complaining for months to 28th Ward Ald. Jason Ervin and the park district.

But Ervin’s office says they’re unaware of any complaints, and officials at the Chicago Park District argue they’ve spent more than $3 million in the last few years making repairs to the pool, doors and bleachers.

Mayor Emanuel pointed out recent upgrades.

The priority, Ellison says, needs to be the termites and the stairs.

“Fix up the park so the kids can have some place to go,” she says.

CBS 2 reached out the Friends of the Parks. The president of the advocacy organization says the safety repairs should be a priority and has offered to work with Ellison and the community to advocate on their behalf.

Park officials insist the termites are gone and the stairs will soon be fixed.